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Most people break down their moving boxes and let the city recycling center take care of them, but did you know there are groups that want your old boxes?


Projects, storage, and more moving. Places such as libraries, food banks, and community centers will often have a need for your used moving boxes. Libraries weed books and will need to transport those books, give them your boxes. Food banks sometimes need additional storage and as a way for their patrons to carry their food home. We all know kids love making forts and other hiding places with boxes, imagine what projects your community center can do with your old boxes. But let’s consider the condition of our boxes too, the sturdy ones, the ones with handles, or the big wardrobe boxes without holes. It would also be a good idea to call ahead before taking them over as they have just had a large donation and may not have the room for more.


Someone is usually in need of good sturdy moving boxes. If you are hoping to recoup a small percentage of your moving expenses, try selling them on places like Craigslist or Facebook’s marketplace. You can also look for buy/sell groups in your area.

There are also a couple websites dedicated to buying and selling moving supplies. Sites such as Boxcycle or BoxQuest, while we do not have personal experience with these, they may be just what you need.


If you would rather just break down your boxes and set them out for the city to pick up, first make sure your city will. Some cities offer a recycle bin and will take almost anything you can fit in it, but some require boxes to be flattened and bundled. Be aware though, not all cardboard can be recycled. Some cardboard has a wax coating that makes them ineligible for recycling. It is unlikely for your moving boxes to have this wax coating, but in case you end up with one, please break it down and throw it away.

U-Haul Take a box, leave a box program

In 2007, U-Haul created this program to minimize landfill waste. The idea is for customers to come in, take a used box for free and when they no longer need it, take it back to a participating facility for the next person to use. Since its inception, more than 4.4 billion boxes have been reused!